Blog

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

It’s time to think outside the box!  

The number one reason veteran homeschool moms burn out or give up is because they try to do school at home.  What is the 1st mistake many new homeschooling moms make? It is trying to replicate traditional school at home.  

Why do we try to model our home education after the very thing we are trying to escape?  

  • Don’t do school at home.  
  • Think outside the box.  
  • Let’s do “school” differently this year.  

This week, I share how to think outside the box and how to get out of the classroom .   If you are new to homeschooling, you will need this reassurance and encouragement to help change your mindset.  If you are a seasoned homeschooling mom, you probably need these important reminders as you plan your next school year.  

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and join me for a little coffee break. Make sure you listen to next week’s “Out of the Box” Part 2!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

LESS IS MORE!

YES! You heard that right. This year, we need to adopt a “Less is More” attitude!

NEW PODCAST!  Less is More:  A Simple Homeschool Philosophy. 

One year ago this week, my book Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God  was released!  To celebrate, I would like to share with you excerpts from one of my favorite chapters in the book, “Chapter 12: Less is More.”  

This month, many moms are also planning for the new school year. This is a perfect time to read this chapter (and actually the entire book)!  It will encourage you, inspire you, and help you prepare.  

This week’s podcast is a little preview of the book.  After listening to this week’s Coffee With Carrie episode, I’m sure you will want to read the rest of Just Breathe .  If you have already read my book, Just Breathe, then take a listen anyway.  It’s a great reminder ( and as I read Chapter 12, I insert extra commentary and little tidbits along the way.)

You don’t need all of the bells and whistles to homeschool. Less really is more and simple is always better.  If you are looking for ways to simplify your homeschooling, to focus on what is really important, and to get more done by doing less this coming school year, then join me for this week’s little coffee break.  

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN OR Listen on your favorite podcast provider.  

 

You can also purchase the book @Amazon.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY!

INSTAGRAM LIVE TONIGHT 6:00 PM (PT)

Calling all moms thinking of homeschooling high school this year!

Calling all moms who are planning their high schooler’s new year!

TONIGHT I am going LIVE on Instagram with a few homeschooling friends @coffeewithcarrieconsultant

Our topic: Homeschooling High School

Join me and a few homeschooling friends who have “been there, done that” with regards to homeschooling the high school years! My CWC Online July Workshop: “Homeschool High School: Let’s Plan” filled up so quickly, many of you asked for another one. So let’s talk homeschooling high school tonight!

JOIN ME tonight, AUGUST 3RD on Instagram at 6:00!

**Make sure you follow my IG account, @coffeewithcarrieconsultant, and turn on the notifications. This way you are notified when a podcast is dropped, when I go LIVE, or when I add a few coffee memes to my story.**

GETTING READY FOR A NEW SCHOOL YEAR

It is that time again! I have a couple of resources to help you start the year strong!

In this post, I have listed 100 of my favorite homeschooling resources. I hope you enjoy the list. You can download a pdf file with embedded links too.

Go to Season One of Coffee With Carrie Homeschool Podcast. Listen to the 3 Part Series “Start the Year Strong.”

Sign up for Coffee With Carrie Newsletter, and I will send you as a gift for joining our email list a “Start The School Year Checklist” CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE


100 or so Homeschool Resources

PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION

  1. Yearly Calendar and Planner:  Any brand will do including free printables off the internet.  My favorite is from Plum Paper. https://www.plumpaper.com/shop/category/homeschool-teacher
  2. Cozi Online Family Calendar and App:  Keep track and color code every activity and special day.  Viewable by all in the family.   https://www.cozi.com
  3. 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy (2014): Lists and recommendations for 102 great homeschool curriculum.
  4. Donna Young Printables and Resources:  Tons of forms, report cards, attendance records, course of studies sheets, meal planning, etc.  https://donnayoung.org/index.htm
  5. HSLDA Membership, State Homeschooling Laws, and High School Handbook
  6. Academic Records Transcript Service
  7. Education.Com Learning Library:  Worksheets for every subject in every grade level.  Most are free https://www.education.com 
  8. Audible Books and bluetooth headphones
  9. Your Morning Basket:  Monthly plans for different seasons, grade levels, and historical time periods
  10. Kids Connect– printable worksheets for different holidays, subjects, and topics.  https://kidskonnect.com
  11. Easy Peasy All In One Free Online Curriculum:  Lessons plans with links for the entire year for every grade level. https://allinonehomeschool.com
  12. Enchanted Learning:  hundreds of downloadable worksheets, writing and arts activities, storybooks,  and reading/ABC activities for K-3rd grade.    https://www.enchantedlearning.com
  13. Carschooling:  Over 350 Entertaining Games and Activities to Turn Travel Time into Learning Time by Dianne Flynn Keith.
  14. Game Schooling and The Games Curriculum. https://homeschoolgameschool.com/gameschooling/
  15. Duckster:  Free online encyclopedia for kids.  Each topic also include crossword puzzles, word searches and quizzes   https://www.ducksters.com
  16. Quizlet- Create personalize flashcards for any subject and grade level.  Each set also includes review, games, and tests.  https://quizlet.com
  17. Quia:  Online games for any subject, topic, and grade level.  https://www.quia.com/web/studentZoneBegin.html
  18. Sheppards Software Website:  games and tutorials for all ages in geography, science, math and art  https://www.sheppardsoftware.com
  19. Kid Friendly cookbook and draw full of mom-approved cooking utensils:  Our favorite is The Forest Feast for Kids by Erin Gleeson.  It’s a huge time saver when kids can make their own breakfast or cook lunch for the entire family.
  20. For Small Hands:  Toys for Learning/Tools for Life:  Everything your toddler needs to be independent.

SUPPLIES

  1. Magnetic white boards and dry erase markers
  2. Sheet Page Protectors: Insert worksheets your child does for practice each day (maps, handwriting practice, etc).  It says on printing.
  3. Lots and lots of all kinds of paper- lined, blank, colored, construction, cardstock, origami, craft- you name it!  You will need it one day when you least expect it.
  4. Desktop printer- Get a quality one so you don’t spend an arm and a leg replacing ink all of the time
  5. High Quality Pencils – preferably mechanical.  No sharpeners needed (You can never find them when you need them)
  6. Different sized baskets- one for your teaching guides/planner, one for each child’s independent work, one for morning basket supplies, one for general school supplies, one for books borrowed from the library, and a few others for games, books, and catch alls
  7. Piles and piles of index cards- lined, blank and colored
  8. Space to display art work (and/or educational posters)
  9. Play-dough (homemade or store bought), plastic cookie cutters, and Kinetic Sand of all kinds 
  10. Membership to a zoo, aquarium, art museum, kid’s museum, park pass, or something similar.  You will want this for planned and spontaneous “let’s get out of the house” days
  11. Closet full of games (any will do as long as they are age appropriate and engaging)

ENCOURAGMENT 

  1. Any book, resource, or podcast by Sally Clarkson
  2. The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dr. Raymond Moore
  3. The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education by Ainsely Arment 
  4. The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv 
  5. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen
  6. Teaching From Rest:  A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
  7. Wild+ Free Community and Website:  nature study tutorials, conferences, resource bundles, local connections and adventure groups, and print/downloadable magazines with “how to” articles
  8. Homeschooling With Dyslexia Website:  recommendations, encouragement, and resources
  9. Mom to Mom Podcast with Kate Battistelli, September McCarthy, and Jamie Erickson
  10. Off the Bench with Heidi St. John Podcast

LANGUAGE ARTS

  1. Library Card, local library reserve online service, and friendly librarian 
  2. Five in A Row (FIAR):  Perfect for PreK-3rd grade all in one curriculum
  3. Simply Charlotte Mason:  Website, videos, and Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum
  4. EasyBib.com:  Life saver for middle and high schoolers writing and citing research papers.
  5. Yearly subscription to Grammarly– shaves months off of time editing papers and helps build independent writers
  6. starfall.com – Free online phonics, beginning reading, and numbers for PreK-Kindergarten https://www.starfall.com/h/index-kindergarten.php?mg=k 
  7. Phonics Pathway by Doloris Hiskes and Explode the Code Series by Nancy Hall for gentle reading instruction and All About Reading Curriculum or Barton Reading and Spelling Method for multi-sensory approach (best for students with reading disabilities)
  8. Mad Libs – tons of them
  9. School House Rock Videos on Youtube
  10. Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons by Emma Serl
  11. Daily Grams by Wanda Philips 
  12. Any kind of ABC flashcards, magnetic letters, and phonogram / digraph letter tiles
  13. Wordless Picture Books
  14. Scholastic Story Starter Online Game, Writing Prompt websites, and journal writing books
  15. Wild and Free Book Club:  28 Activities to Make Books Come Alive by Ainsely Arment

MATHEMATICS

  1. Bed Time Math website, app, and daily math challenges. https://bedtimemath.org 
  2. Brick Math:  curriculum, actives, and units to use to teach math with Legos. https://www.brickmathseries.com
  3. Kid’s Magnetic Building Blocks and Tiles– keeps little ones occupied
  4. Deck of Cards and tons of polyhedra dice
  5. Bins of Legos and building blocks
  6. Sir Cumference Picture Book Series by Cindy Neuschwander
  7. Pigs Will Be Pigs Book Series by Amy Axlerod
  8. Count Your Way through ……. Series by 
  9. Warlord’s Series by Virginia Pilegrard
  10. Any Math Picture book by Marilyn Burns. Start with $1.00 Word Riddle Book

**See note about Math Curriculum Recommendations.**

ART & MUSIC

  1. Let’s Make Art:  Free watercolor tutorials and inexpensive watercolor “how to” kits
  2. Meet the Masters Homeschool Version:  A mix of art techniques and art history
  3. Draw Write Now Series by Maria Hablitzel & Draw and Write Through History by Carylee Gressman
  4. Chalk Art Video Instruction :  A Hodgepodge of simple video art lessons from seasonal art lessons to sharks to American landmarks and the far reaches of space using pastels and chalk.
  5. Wild and Free Handcrafts:  32 Activities to Build Confidence, Creativity, and Skill by Ainsley Arment
  6. Come Look With Me Book Series by Gladys Blizzard
  7. James Mayhew Katie Series 
  8. Anholt’s Artists Book Series for Kids
  9. Smart About Art book Series by Joan Holub
  10. Classics for Kids Website:  Full of composer bios, music theory and games, and classical pieces
  11. Lord of Chords Music Theory Game: An entire year of music theory can be taught just with this game!
  12. Music Theory. Net:  If your child is learning how to play any instrument or learning to read sheet music, this website is a life saver!

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

  1. Window on the World:  An Operation World Prayer Resource by Molly Wall
  2. Top Secret Adventures by Highlight:  Monthly subscription which focuses on a particular country each month.  It is by Highlight so tons of puzzles and riddles included each week as the reader tries to solve a mystery in each country.
  3. Little Passports:  Monthly subscription for little ones
  4. My Father’s World: Exploring Countries and Cultures:  36 Week Unit integrating bible, language arts, science, art, history and music
  5. A good globe
  6. Beautiful Feet books and unit studies: History through Literature
  7. Children’s Atlas of the God’s World by Craig Froman
  8. Kids Travel Book:  A Journey Through Every Country in the World by Lonely Planet Kids
  9. Ancient World:  Usborne World History Series by Fiona Chandler
  10. Medieval World: Usborne World History Series by Jane Bingham
  11. Duckster:  Free online encyclopedia for kids.  Each topic also include crossword puzzles, word searches and quizzes   https://www.ducksters.com
  12. World Map Blank and Printables:  Great for map work, coloring sheets, labeling, and memorizing.
  13. Who Is / Who Was Biography Series for Kids by Roberta Edwards

SCIENCE

  1. Homeschool Science Tools:  website and online store for science kits, dissection specimens, and science equipment. https://www.homesciencetools.com
  2. Picture This (or iNaturalist) App– Take a picture of any tree, flower, or leaf, and answer those “what is it? Questions while on your walk or hike.
  3. Animal Encyclopedia:  Usborne and DK are my favorites
  4. Indescribable:  100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science (series) by Louie Giglio
  5. Wild and Free Nature:  25 Outdoor Adventures for Kids to Explore, Discover, and Awaken their Curiosity by Ainsley Arment
  6. Nature anatomy series by Julia Rothman

SURVIVAL

  1. Personal Bible and Bible for Family Devotions:  DK Illustrated Family Bible or The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos
  2. Pots and Pots of good coffee and homeschooling themed coffee mugs:  Her Hearts Company has the best coffee mugs and apparel:  https://herheartsco.com/ 
  3. AND FINALY, MY Book and Podcast

Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God by Carrie De Francisco (2020)

Coffee With Carrie Homeschool Podcast 

** I do not recommend math curriculum because it really depends on your child’s learning style and your budget.**. My favorites: Saxon, Teaching Textbooks, Math-U-See, Life with Fred, and Mathematical Reasoning (from Critical Thinking Publishers)

LET’S CELEBRATE!

ONE year ago today, my homeschooling book, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee): Homeschool in Step with God, was published!!

What a day it was!  

And this past year has been filled with encouraging messages from you, wonderful reviews on Amazon, pictures of you reading my book on the beach, recommendations on Instagram and Facebook, and moms discussing my book in their book clubs.  I still find it quite weird signing my book but I am always humbled by the request.

I well up with tears when I read your messages that say my book has changed your homeschooling or it has has helped change your relationship with your kiddos. 

💜 Thank you for loving my book!

💜 Thank you for loving me (warts and all)!

💜 I love you back!

Thanks for celebrating Just Breathe’s ONE YEAR PUBLICATION ANNIVERSARY with us! As a way to say “Thank You,” we are having a special GIVEAWAY! Check out my IG account @coffeewithcarrieconsultant to enter. We are giving away my book to FIVE homeschooling moms! If you haven’t read the book, enter to win a copy! If you have read the book, then enter to give the book as a gift.

PS. Would you like to give my book and I an anniversary present? If so, we would love to get 100 reviews on Amazon. Have you left one yet? Thanks in advance for the positive review and the 5 Star Rating!